Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Determined
File No: S051491
Minute by the Lord Mayor
More than 30 community groups from across the Sydney metropolitan area have recently formed a coalition called the Fix NSW Transport Coalition (see Attachment A). Their first action is a lantern walk on August 11 from 5:30pm at Sydney Town Hall.
The groups cover all areas of Sydney, the inner city and inner west, the northern suburbs, eastern suburbs and western Sydney.
They are alarmed that billions of dollars are being spent building toll roads with not enough invested in public transport. They are also concerned that current transport projects are plagued by cost blowouts and shrouded in secrecy.
Their views are reflected in the broader community. Recent polling by Ipsos, conducted on behalf of the Committee for Sydney, showed that Sydneysiders want new public transport infrastructure to take priority over big road projects.
Nearly one in three rate Sydney Metro West, connecting Parramatta with the city centre, as the most important transport project in Sydney. Sixty-three per cent ranked the project among their top three priorities, the highest share according to the poll.
The second most popular project was the Sydney to Newcastle fast rail – ranked in the top three by 42 per cent.
The least popular project was WestConnex’s F6 Extension, planned between St Peters and Waterfall. Only 7 per cent of people identified it as a top priority.
Less than half (47 per cent) said they were satisfied with the public transport system and only 17 per cent think our public transport compares well with cities of a similar size.
The State’s own data shows that in the ten years between 2003 and 2013, the number of people driving into the Sydney City Centre remained fairly static while trips by public transport increased by around 40 per cent. And since light rail construction commenced in 2015, there has been an 11 per cent reduction in the number of inbound vehicles and a 9.4 per cent increase in public transport use into the CBD during the morning peak period.
This clearly shows that productivity in the global city centre does not require more road capacity, it requires more public transport capacity. So the Government’s investment in the light rail extension and in metro is clearly needed and welcome though the planning and delivery of these projects could be improved.
A focus on providing what the community actually needs rather than making money would be a good start. Metro stations are desperately needed in a number of our already built up, dense neighbourhoods such as Green Square, Pyrmont and Alexandria but those stations should not come with the burden of extra development as a consequence. The transport is needed just to manage the current situation.
And the massive investment in WestConnex is simply incomprehensible. It is the very opposite of State and City policy to reduce the number of cars coming into the city centre.
The St Peter’s interchange, adjacent to Sydney Park, built as part of Westconnex, will bring an extra 120,000 vehicles every day to the City and Roads and Maritime Services is planning to build a motorway from the interchange through already heavily congested areas from Alexandria to Moore Park, threatening city neighbourhoods, significant trees and precious public parkland.
The last business case showed that on key corridors, using public transport will be quicker than using WestConnex. And yet it is the Government’s biggest project.
The Fix NSW Transport Coalition’s lantern walk is being held to highlight all these issues and they have asked the City to support them.
They have asked for a $5,000 grant to print and distribute flyers telling people in our area about the walk and to help them purchase lantern-making materials.
They have also asked for the use of a council venue for five lantern-making workshops involving around 30 people, help connecting with artists who could assist them with the lanterns, power at the side of Sydney Town Hall for a sound system in the lead up to the rally, access to a vehicle space for loading and unloading and a temporary storage place during the day of the Lantern Walk for sound equipment.
It is resolved that Council:
(A) commend the Fix NSW Transport Coalition for their advocacy and support their call for better transport planning in NSW, focusing on public and active transport, with the goal of achieving a more liveable and sustainable NSW;
(B) call on other local government areas to endorse this broad coalition and ask the Lord Mayor to write to Councillors in the Sydney metropolitan area encouraging them to take part in the lantern walk with their communities; and
(C) support the walk by:
(i) approving a grant of $5,000 (excluding GST) to the Fix NSW Transport Coalition from the 2018/19 Matching Grant program to assist with the printing and delivery of flyers and purchase of lantern making material;
(ii) approving the provision of a community venue free of charge to the Fix NSW Transport Coalition for up to five lantern making workshops; and
(iii) requesting the Chief Executive Officer to provide further assistance to the Fix Transport NSW Coalition, including connection with artists, access to power and other minor operational support for the rally.
COUNCILLOR CLOVER MOORE
Attachment A. Fix NSW Transport Coalition – Member Groups and Declaration
Moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Miller –
That the Minute by the Lord Mayor be endorsed and adopted.
Report author: Erin Cashman
Publication date: 28/06/2018
Date of decision: 25/06/2018
Decided at meeting: 25/06/2018 - Council